Odds and ends from notebook…

Published 5:00 am Monday, October 13, 2003

This and that while cleaning out my notebook:


Rep. Jim Barnett has been making the editorial pages ofnewspapers across the state regarding his plans to run for Speakerof the House. Unfortunately for the local representative, thosecomments by the Meridian Star, which were picked up by newspapersacross the state, are less then complimentary.

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That newspaper questions Barnett’s seriousness in running forthe slot after he asked that his name be removed from a straw pollbeing conducted by the Republican Party on October 1.

According to Barnett, he did ask to be pulled from the poll, buthis plans are to run for the leadership position. The three termrepresentatives says he feels he needs to concentrate first on hisgeneral election opponent, Buddy Turpin, and not the speaker’s job.This, of course, begs the question why did he announce hisintentions? Barnett says he was getting pressure and felt itimportant to get his name in the ring early before others alsoseeking the leadership seat lined up votes.

Barnett says he does not think his switch to the RepublicanParty will be an issue, and he says he has already lined up somevotes from Democrats.


Former Republican Gov. Kirk Fordice has been making the roundslately to promote Republican Gubernatorial candidate Haley Barbour.The controversial Fordice was pushed to the sidelines during MikeParker’s run for the office four years ago, but apparently theBarbour campaign thinks it is time to bring the governor backout.

At Wednesday night’s rally at the Multi-Purpose building onIndustrial Park Road, the governor was quickly back on track withhis “my way or the highway” rhetoric, lambasting those with whom hedisagrees. While the governor received a warm welcome, it wasobvious the charm he once had has cooled among many localvoters.

Of interest was speculation that his ex-wife might also make anappearance. Both appeared together at a rally in Columbusrecently.


Fayette residents have begun complaining that they think it isunfair that their community has become the poster child for”jackpot justice.” Community leaders say all the negative publicitysurrounding the multiple multi-million dollar drug jury verdicts ishurting their image and labeling Jefferson County asanti-business.

“God knows we need some jobs around here,” a local florist wasquoted as saying about the situation, bemoaning the fact thatindustry refuses to look at the county.

Jefferson County, of course, gained nationwide fame over theyears due to the number of lawsuits filed there. The plaintiffs inthose cases (over 10,000) outnumbered the county’s total populationof 9,740.

The rest of Mississippi feels the pain of the Fayette residents,for the legal climate in Jefferson County has affected everycommunity in Mississippi. Jobs have been lost, health costs haverisen and medical care decreased — all because of the greed ofsome Jefferson County residents and their opportunistic trialattorneys.

One might suggest Fayette look to the folks who put them intheir current predicament for the necessary funding and advice.After all, those lawyers made millions upon millions of dollars onthe backs of the poor folks they say they wanted to protect.

Write to Bill Jacobs at P.O. Box 551, Brookhaven, Miss.39602, or send e-mail to bjacobs@dailyleader.com.